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French regulator fines Amazon for surveillance of warehouse staff


French data protection authority CNIL has fined Amazon €32m ($35 million) for excessive surveillance of staff at its warehouses in France.

Amazon France Logistique used scanning technology to monitor staff performance in packaging orders, which CNIL said amounted to being “excessively intrusive” and a breach of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

CNIL said the system, which triggered alerts if a worker was inactive for more than 10 minutes, put staff under constant pressure. Scanners also measured the speed for packing orders, which raised alerts for orders scanned both too quickly and too slowly. It added that Amazon did not adequately inform staff how long data was held or seek adequate consent for using personal data, including video surveillance.

“The CNIL ruled that it was illegal to set up a system measuring work interruptions with such accuracy, potentially requiring employees to justify every break or interruption,” it said. “The retention of all this data and the resulting statistical indicators were disproportionate overall.”

The fine covered six separate breaches of the GDPR and follows an investigation that began in 2019.

Commercial Risk Europe is a sister publication of Business Insurance. More stories from CRE here.